Friday, April 30, 2010

My New Craigslist Ad...

Four Boer cross goats - free to good home any home.
Owner should possess: maximum security prison decent fencing, the ability to chase them minimum three miles excellent cardiovascular health, complete disregard for your own personal property no nice things stored outdoors, super-patient neighbors (preferably with good cardiovascular health themselves) decent fencing and unlimited funds to put toward additional fencing materials be prepared for possible fencing improvements.
Goats may be seen wandering our neighborhood seen by appointment only. You catch, you haul.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Goat Ranching 103: What To Do When You've Already Done Everything....

Part three of the three part series is not filled with excitement and goat wrestling like I thought it would be. In fact, there has been no goat wrestling since the day we brought them home. The goat-release date set for Saturday did coincide nicely with the garage sale (which, incidentally, was a crappy, rainy weekend to host a garage sale) but there were no extra bodies required. During the week the goats spent confined to the chicken coop Todd introduced them to grain. And this obviously changed their attitude about running away because when they got out (about two minutes after we let them out of the coop...) they were more interested in hunting down the grain bin than fleeing their homeland.
We first sensed they were out because the bleating (that's goat for talking) was a little louder and closer than usual. Upon further inspection it was confirmed that Vanilla-Chocolate (yes Vanilla-Chocolate is her name) had indeed  crawled under the fence (without getting shocked!?) and came looking for human companionship. The other goats could tell she was out and each of the three does made a dash for the fence and performed an amazing stomach-slide under the hot wire. Power in numbers! Once all four goats were out they went searching for the grain bin. All Todd had to do was shake the grain and they followed him back into the pasture. Not that they stayed there long, but they were there.
Another trip to the feed store and another hundred dollars and Todd returned with the following:

  1. A 50 foot section of rope.

  2. A brass bell with clip.

  3. A large metal post to tie the rope to and pound into the ground.
(I will say, however, if you are going to tether a goat in the middle of the field it is best to do it far enough away from your other temporary fence so that when the tethered goat does lap after lap around the post they don't completely destroy your temporary fence. Right. Because I spent a considerable amount of time repairing fence after the first tethering experience.)
...and Vanilla Chocolate has met her match. She has not been out since. The goats are allowed to graze (supervised, of course) in the afternoons but V/C has to remain tethered until she gets too big to escape without a serious shock. That, or she gives up trying to get out altogether. Which I don't think is happening anytime soon.

Let's recap goat "aquisition" project::

  • Two additional hot lines ran along front of fence.

  • Lowering of additional hot lines after goat escape #1.

  • Goats live in chicken coop and eat out of the recycling bin. (Its the only "feed" bin we had...)

  • Mounding of dirt below gates to avoid goat escape. Shortly followed by realization it was much easier (and cheaper) just to lower the gates. Either way, it didn't work. Followed shortly by goat escape #2.

  • Installment of peanut butter covered tin-foil dangly pieces on electric fence. This was to try to get them to lick the peanut butter and shock their face teaching them that the fence is bad. Failed miserably. Either they don't like peanut butter, or they are exceptionally smart.

  • Purchase of goat tether. This is labor intensive and has dramatically increased the amount of time I spend repairing existing fence.

  • The discussion to perhaps add field fence to our arsenal of weapons took place last night. Sounds expensive, labor intensive and irritating. We were SO not cut out to raise goats.
They are pretty cute, but cute in the would-look-good-on-the-BBQ kinda way. All I know is the first time one of these things gets out and I find it stomping the hood of my car it's a dead goat.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

First Playdate!

Colt had his first official play date this past weekend with Lyla, who was born about 2 weeks before he was. She is such a cutie pie! Sunday was beautiful and we had a BBQ (first of the year!) and let the kids play next to each other on blankets in the grass. It's crazy how babies react to other babies. They immediately made eye contact and started trying to touch each other. Too funny. 

A happy baby!

So, Lyla obviously had WAY cooler toys than Colt because he immediately lost interest in his toys and wanted to play with hers. She would grab each one, shake it around, bite it, put it down and move on to the next one.

Colt: "My shaky ring sucks. Hey..that's cool. What is that?"
Lyla: "Don't come any closer."

Colt really showed an interest in her key link chain. It made a really cool noise as Lyla banged it around and he wanted to have it. So, he was patient. And the second she put it down he grabbed it.

Colt: "That is sooooo cool."
Lyla: "I know. Don't I look cool chewing on it? Hands off buddy."

Colt: "I love Lyla's picture book. Let me take a look at it."
Lyla: "I said hands off buddy."

Colt: (distracted, obviously) "Hi mom!"
Lyla: "I'll be taking that book back, thank you."

Colt: "WWAAAaaaaaaa."
Lyla: "I told you. Hands off."
It was so funny: Lyla and Colt each had an end of the chain link toy and were both pulling on it. Colt lost his grip and Lyla ended up with the whole toy, which totally sent him off the edge crying. Lyla looked at him like he was crazy and then started laughing a little, which made him cry harder....but made us all laugh! It wasn't on purpose, but was too funny.

Aren't they the cutest things ever?

Quick Goat Update:

We are still too afraid to let the goats out of the chicken coop, so Todd has been moving them every day so they're on fresh grass. Every day after work we've been upgrading the fence - as we DO NOT want a repeat escape like last Saturday. We have added additional hot wires to hopefully prevent a breakout. Ronald Weesley (the buck. God I hate that name...) is oh-so-patiently awaiting the release of his girlfriends.

A couple of genius ideas:

1. The goats could shimmy under the (non-electrified) gates. So, night before last Todd and I spent $25 and two hours shoveling dirt under the gates to raise the ground level to the gates before we realized it was much easier (AND FASTER) to just lower the gates. Fricking brilliant.

2. We're having a garage sale this Saturday, which coincides with our planned goat-release day. At any given time there should be extra people around. Extra people, that is, that can chase loose goats. Now that's brilliant!

More to come after the planned release.....

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Part Two: Goat Ranching 102: What to Do When Your Goats Escape.

My mom told us when Todd was considering raising goats, "If you can build a fence that'll keep a 14 year old boy in, you can keep in goats." I've not heard a more true statement.

Ronald came out of the trailer pretty easily and started walking around the field like he owned the place. My first impression of him was not good. He was pretty big (for a goat), maybe 150 pounds, had a fu-man-choo mustache 8 inches long, his horns were probably a foot long, flat and layed back towards his neck. He didn't have a collar, but had a rope tied around his neck. And there were all kinds of rope tied up in his horns that made him look gnarly. Plus, he was doing this strutting thing that really didn't impress me. Goat's eyes look hollow and creepy too. That wasn't helping him - neither was the permed bangs that replaced his eyebrows.

The does took some persuasion and the four of them finally came out of the trailer. They were smaller and very pretty. Not too tame and running around like crazy. Ronald Weasley thought they were very pretty and started chasing them around. And that's when I learned a few things about goats:

  1. Goats are NOT into arranged marriage. The does didn't want anything to do with freaky permed-bangs weirdo Ronald Weasley.

  2. Goats are very flexible.

  3. The six months of planning (and many verbal warnings by former goat owners) did NOT prepare us for goat ownership.

  4. Goats don't care if you build a fence. They go where they want to.
The trailer arrived at 5:00pm and LITERALLY by 5:08pm the does had escaped from our fence and were wandering (well, running...) around our lawn...headed for the road. All hell broke loose. The buck (luckily) was a little too big to get under the fence, but the does were gone. Todd caught one and drug it back to the field - and then I heard him from the front lawn scream, "NOOoooooOOOO!!" And when I looked around the house I saw the other three goats about a 1/2 mile up our neighbor's driveway - across the road!!

And so began the hour and a half, three mile goat recon mission. Todd, our neighbor girl Annika, the girl two houses down, Savannah, my mom and dad, me (with the baby on my back) and our amazing neighbors (if you're reading this Robbie and Gordy - for reals - you guys rock!) joined in the chase. Everyone took off up the neighbor's driveway on foot armed with several ropes and a can of grain, my dad followed on the 4-wheeler with more rope and Robbie (bless her heart!) showed up with much needed additional fencing supplies and proceeded to build us a goat-proof fence.

The (somewhat angry and not nearly as nice as Robbie and Gordy) neighbor, whose BARN they managed to corner the goats in was totally un-impressed with our goat sheparding skills. There's nothing like six people, a 4-wheeler and three goats burning through your lawn to really say, "Hi there neighbor. Good to meet you!"

An hour and a half later with a more substantial fence and goats in tow, the action calmed down a bit. Not willing to risk them escaping again we locked them up in the only thing we had that was goat proof: our extra chicken coop. So, as of this morning we had four angry goats in a chicken coop and Ronald Weasley circling it, just waiting for them to get out. Goat ranching. A family - scratch that - a neighborhood affair!

Some of the things overheard that night:

"Do you guys have a rifle?"
"Wow. Goats are fast."
"We could have a really big BBQ tonight and invite all the neighbors. I hear goat is pretty good."
"Who's idea was this?"
"Did you read the part about goat fencing?"
"They're gone."
"@#%$^-ing goats"
"God. I hope they weren't expensive."
"Are you getting divorced?"

Monday, April 19, 2010

First of a Three Part Series: Goat Ranching 101: Goat Rustling

I'm sure it comes as no surprise to our blog-followers that we would chose to add to our ever-expanding farm family. 

Goats. Why not! Todd has methodically and religiously studied volumes upon volumes upon volumes of information regarding the pasturing, feeding, worming, vaccinating of and caring for, goats. After deliberating which ones would kid the easiest (that's goat for give birth), keep the easiest (because, you know, we're naturals at this), eat the least, grow the fastest and be the best for meat, he settled on a Kiko/Boer cross. And, naturally there aren't any located within 500 miles of our house! Todd arranged for a weekend trip to two different farms. From one "farm" he would pick up (I'm not kidding here) "Ronald Weasley", the buck, and from a different "farm" he would pick up the four does (that's goat talk for baby-making machines). The farms were about an hour apart, both located in the opposite corner of our state - a good five hour drive.
In an attempt to "maximize goat intake and minimize travel time", the plan was for Todd to leave our house on Friday after work, drive five hours, get a hotel, get the goats first thing Saturday morning, and drive straight home. That way he'd be home by around 2:00pm. I sometimes wonder what kind of delusional world we live in. (And by we, I mean me.)
I talked to Todd late Friday night and after making a quick gas-stop in Yakima (where he had intended to stay) he continued on because (I kid you not...) the prostitutes and delinquents were really thick in the area where he pulled off. He instead chose to sleep in his truck 100 miles further down a dead end road. Much safer, yes?
Here's what I gathered from "farm #1" (where the does came from):

  1. They lived in the middle of nowhere. Literally, he drove down a mountain, across the gulley and up the other mountain. No cars. Anywhere. Gravel? All the way.

  2. They were moderately well-kept. Probably could have used a fresh set of clothes and a shower but, all in all? Farmers.

  3. Their house? Old - but on a foundation - with a trailer right next to the house.

  4. Over 40 more goats in the barn.
Here's what I gathered about "farm #2" (where Ronald Weasley was):

  1. It was on the other side of middle of no where. Seriously. He drove for over 40 miles and didn't pass a single car. 
  2. Goat "ranchers" maybe don't always practice good personal hygiene. For example: this guy could have used a shower, flea dip, hair cut, shave, fingernail brushing, nail clipping and tooth brushing. I can only imagine what a person Todd described as "The Unibomber's Brother" looked like in person. Impolite to ask to take a picture? 
  3. Goat "ranchers" don't always live in mansions. Todd said it looked like the Unibomber's Brother's "house" was a one-room shanty-town that he was pretty sure was made from pallets. After going inside (only to sign papers, not for fun..) he noticed that the bed was in the kitchen. And on cinder blocks. I guess "breakfast in bed" when you live alone in the middle of nowhere means actually cooking breakfast from bed. Hmm. 
  4. They had no electricity. Ya know, the stuff they discovered in the 1700s?  He would fire up the generator whenever his wife needed to use the internet.
  5. No electricity but they have the internet? Interesting, don't you think?
Todd arrived back at our farm at around 5:00 pm on Saturday. Three hours behind schedule, smelling kinda like a trucker. And this is what I could gather from him:
  1. Dinner consisted of beef jerky, green tea and spicy habenero chips.
  2. He didn't pack a toothbrush. Or deodorant. Or a change of clothes.
  3. He hadn't showered, shaved or brushed his teeth.
  4. He didn't pack his heart-burn medicine. (Too bad, considering the meal, right?)
  5. He hadn't taken his shoes off in at least 24 hours.
  6. We seriously underestimated what it would take to raise goats.
All things considered not a bad trip, right? And then he let the goats out of the trailer to explore their new digs. And that's when the shit hit the fan. Stay tuned for all the late-breaking details on goat ranching!

Bonnie The Hairy-Armed Pancake

Note to Bakerview International House Of Pancakes and all other Houses of Pancakes:

If you are going to have a lovely, smiley, blue gigham-clad pancake character outside on the weekend mornings waving at passerbys, trying to drum up business by selling more pancakes, might I offer you this suggestion: Get the GUY wearing the suit (with the name BONNIE blazened across his chest, adorned with long, seductive eyelashes) to, at the minimum, MINIMUM, wax his ultra-hairy arms. No one wants to drive up, wave at "Bonnie", think "Mmmm...pancakes sound good," and then barf a little in their mouth when they spot the half-ape you've hired to wear the suit.

I'm just saying. 

Friday, April 16, 2010

..Just When You Think You're Cool....

So, I drive in to the coffee stand this morning (because, you guessed it - night shift again!!) to grab a cup of coffee on my way to town. Todd thinks its a waste of money, but I have cut down massively on my latte consumption and sometimes splurge with a "treat" for myself. Today was such a day.

There is one stand I go to occasionally where they recognize me and know what I order, so I tend to go there. I drive up, baby in tow, and say hi to the girl. She first gave me this look like she didn't recognize me, then once I started talking, it apparantly jogged her memory and she started talking to me. She asks how the baby is doing, so I pull forward a little and roll the back window down so she can see him. "The usual?" "No." I say, "I'll have the special (a cherry mocha - doesn't that sound good?)." And, it was so beautiful and sunny out today that, not only was I wearing sunglasses - for the second day in a row - but I said, "Ohh...and I'll have it iced too. MMmm.."

I grab my drink, start to drive off and think to myself, "Maybe I need to get new sunglasses...these ones just don't seem to be blocking the light like they used to. That's weird. They were fine yesterday."

And, it was then, in a moment of terror-stricken self idiocy, I realized that the reason she looked at me funny when I drove up and the reason I thought I needed new sunglasses was because I didn't have my sunglasses on at all. I was wearing my stupid gigantic, neon-blue rimmed, ANSI approved, wrap around SAFETY GLASSES from work. I keep them in my console and had grabbed them instead of my uber-hip sunglasses when I left the driveway. Freaking moron. Because that's how I roll: one fricking fashion disaster after another.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

In a Surprising Turn Of Events: The Cat Lives!!

Remember the last post about Theo, our old cat? The one where he was hanging by his neck from the top of the garage door? Right, that one. Well, although visibly shaken from the episode, he is not going down without a fight!

Its been difficult to get him out of the garage since "the accident". I mean, would you go out if your last experience included a leisurely stroll on the overhead door that ended with you dangling by your neck 10 feet off the ground? Understandable he's a little, um, leery.

(OK. Side note. Remember this post about the racoon problem we were having? Where we caught the 'coon in the live trap because it was eating all the cat food at night? Well, I think the racoon's little friend is back, so I re-set the live trap right outside the cat door of the garage. I loaded it with cat food, prepped the trap door and went to sleep.)

We woke up the other morning and BAM! we had something in the trap. So, I run out to see what kind of cat-food-stealing-machine we have. And, we have Theo, our cat, in the trap! On his maiden voyage from the garage. He looked terrified. All the food was eaten (although there was still some in his bowl in the garage too.) And, I'm almost embarrassed to report this isn't the first time we've caught him. Perhaps not the fastest learner? So, strike two. Head in door. Cat in trap. Wasn't that a Dr. Suess book? I digress...

(OK. Side note. Remember this post where I parked outside the garage with my sunroof openj in the pouring rain and the next morning my seat warmers electrocuted my ass on the way to work?)

So, yesterday was beautiful! And as I'm driving home I opened my sun roof - and it was awesome! So, as I pull into the garage (I know, you were thinking it would be a repeat of the butt shocking story, didn't you?) I close the sunroof. It sensed an object in the way (like my hand..) and wouldn't close all the way so, it stayed open about 5 inches. Not a big deal, right? I was inside after all. And, it was beautiful outside. And, I was inside, right? Right?

About 8:30 last night Todd goes outside and says from the deck, "What's up with your car? Come look at this." I step out on to the deck and through the window in my garage you can see flashing lights coming from inside. Obviously its coming from my car. And there's no audible noise (like, an alarm?), so I don't imagine it can be an alarm - I don't think I even have an alarm. (The truth is I don't lock my car unless I'm at the mall and there are buttons on my key that I'm not sure what they do, so maybe I do have an alarm..) Anyway, upon further inspection I find the following:
  1. Many, many fresh cat prints on the top of my car. Of which one set leads directly towards the open sunroof window but doesn't continue past it.
  2. My flasher button (which on the console directly below the open section of sunroof) depressed.
  3. A somewhat flustered looking, old cat on the work bench.
I'm no scientist (oh, wait, yes I am...) but my suspicions are that Theo walked along the top of my car like he usually does, didn't suspect the roof window was open, fell through the sunroof, hit the flasher button and somehow scrambled back out of the car. I can only assume it was him after his string of somewhat poor showings. Is this the world's worst case of kitty-seimers? This poor cat.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Chivalry Is NOT Dead!

This morning as part of my mad dash to town before reporting for my night shift (still angry about that one) I stopped in to Costco to stock up on formula. The idea of running out of formula had terrified me in the past, but I had not actually considered I would actually run out...until today.

Anyway, mad dash to Costco... it must have been some Canadian long weekend (don't they have at least one a month?) or something because the place was packed. I ended up walking from nearly a mile (literally) away and opted for the stroller instead of a shopping cart. (I was, after all, only after formula and the stroller really limits my last minute we-can't-live-with-1000-taquitos grab happy habit.)

So, after a record setting bob-and-weave manuever through the aisles (where do all these people come from?) I headed straight for the checkout. As per usual, there was a massive backlog of incredibly impatient shoppers wanting to checkout at the very instant I was interested in it as well. Whatev. I parked the stroller in what appeared to be a very long line that snaked on forever, but was feeding (from what I could see) about 4 checkout lines. Perfect! This will go so fast!

I inched my way up and as the line started to split off into respective checker lines, I was forced to make a very difficult decision: Do I get behind the TWO flat bed carts with about 40 cases of pop (hello? cavity city?) or the older lady with a modest basket. Pop. Old lady. Pop. Old Lady. Old Lady. And just as I give up my precious spot in line to park behind the lesser of the evils, an even older man pops out from the vitamin section and TOTALLY CUTS ME OFF. I momentarily consider listing off a series of done-me-wrongs (something to the tune of "CUTTER!! The line starts back there! What are you, blind? Is this your first time to Costco or what?"), but instead I patiently and respectfully took my spot in line behind him. (Note to self: Next time take shortcut through the vitamins.)

I couldn't have asked for anything worse: his basket is filled ENTIRELY full with about 500 tiny little items, he's clutching a coupon book, probably wants it all packed in boxes and is paying in cash. Come on buddy!! Then, just as I'm trying to burn little holes in his head with my laser eyes - he grabs his card off the conveyor, turns around, smiles and says, "Why don't you go ahead of me? You only have two things and you have a baby." I nearly burst into tears. What a sweetheart! And then, as I checked out he made funny faces at the baby, asked how old he was and recounted how badly he missed having his own grandkids around more. You see, they used to own the house across the street from his daughter, but once all his kids left home they needed something smaller, so they moved across town. Now everyone is so busy with growing up (one grandkid does soccer, the other does baseball) that he doesn't see them every day anymore like he used to. Although, they do still manage to get to the grandkid's games sometimes, but not if they're late in the afternoon - he doesn't see well enough at night to drive. I chatted with him for a bit while he checked out, then started craving a Polish dog and Diet Coke so bad I had to say goodbye.

And to think I tried to set his head on fire with my laser beam eyes. Bad form Rikki, bad form.

No, I'm Not Homeless and Sleeping in My Car...

This week has been crazy at work. Nearly half my coworkers are out with surgery or on vacation. Literally. Half the people are gone. It's been so crazy that, instead of taking my usual Tuesday or Wednesday off, Todd took Tuesday off to watch the baby so I could go in to work.

And, since we're so short staffed my boss moved me to the swing shift on Thursday and Friday. Swing shift? I haven't worked a night shift since 2007! After the whole Good Friday thing when I came in late and my boss was doing my job, I've been trying to get on his good side. Which meant saying with a smile, "Oh. Of course. I see. Yes. That'll be no problem for me to work those night shifts.", when really what I wanted to say is, "Are you nuts? I haven't worked a night shift since 2007? I don't even know how to do half the stuff anymore. And, remember? I just had a baby? When am I going to sleep? NO WAY!!!" But, no. I just smiled and agreed. And here I am, 5:00 on Friday night - an hour and a half into my shift, drag-ass tired with a low grade headache. I will be on time for the rest of my life if he just takes me off this night shift thing. Ugh.

Last night? Not too bad. Worked until midnight, to sleep by 1:00am, up at 5:30 to feed, back to bed until 6:45. Grand total: Just over 5 hours of sleep!

We headed out to Target this morning feeling alright. Because, really? There's nothing that lifts your spirit like a trip to Target (right, Amy?!) Tired, but functioning. I park, turn off the car and, of course, Colt is racked out in the back seat. And I'm thinking: "Not a bad idea little buddy." So, I put my seat back, put on my shades, lock the doors and put myself down for a nap. I didn't even have to cry it out. I was out! My built in alarm clock (read: baby in backseat) woke us up 45 minutes later and we went on our way. I think we both felt a little better after that nap. Take it when you can get it I guess. Makes me wonder if my mom EVER slept with THREE of us demons running around?

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Where Has the Time Gone?

Here's the Bumbo when he was only a month or so old and we had to roll up a burp rag to get him sitting upright:

And here's Colt in the Bumbo at about 3 months:

And now here his is at 6 months. Loving the carrots! Hopefully that's a good sign he'll grow up to love his vegetables and we won't have to nag him to eat them. We'll see!

I don't know if anyone else thinks it's totally hilarious that he passed up his entire toy collection so he could chew on a raw carrot. Maybe he's going to be a chef? He loves to sit in the Bumbo and watch dinner being made! Personally, I think the Bumbo is the best invention in the last, oh, 30 years!

Note to self: Perhaps I should change the angle of the shot so I don't capture the entire rack of wine glasses in the background? I like to think of those afternoon cocktails as "mommy's little helpers." (I noticed there are considerably more glasses missing during the 3 month shoot than the 6 month one.) Hmm. ;) 

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

To Open Push Here

Might I digress for a moment....

So, To Open Push Here. Yep, that's what it says on the side of the Kraft Macaroni and Cheese box. It has since I was probably 7 and cooking mac and cheese on my own. And, since I was 7 and cooking mac and cheese on my own, I have never in the history of mac and cheese making been able to open that stupid box they way they say you should. I always end up shredding the top in a attempt to open what otherwise looks like a pretty unassuming box. To Open Push Here sounds like easy enough directions. Even a kid understands that. But, really, have you ever tried to open it? It's easier to bust into Fort Knox than open a box of macaroni. I've tried. And there's no way I can push that flap in without a) breaking a nail b) dislocating a finger or, c) getting really pissed off.
So, if anyone out there has a suggestion (aside from switching brands - we tried that and don't like the Auntie Annes or the Kirkland brand...) let me have it! Seriously. What were they thinking?

Monday, April 5, 2010

Happy Good Friday!

So, the only thing worse than being late to work on a holiday shift is being late to work on a holiday shift and walking in on your boss performing your job because you're late to work. Awesome.

Holidays at my job are on a rotating schedule. I wasn't actually scheduled to work this one (Good Friday), but traded a coworker Labor Day for Good Friday so we can go on our family road-trip later this year. Anyway.

 Scene: My house, Friday, 5am. Alarm goes off. Snooze. Alarm goes off. Baby's hungry. Feed baby. Alarm goes off. Still feeding baby.

5:45. Me: "Oh crap. I'm going to be late." (I was scheduled at 6am - a shift I don't usually work.)
Todd: "Since you're already late, will you change the baby and get him dressed?"
Me: "Sure." What's 15 minutes on a holiday morning really going to do? Shut the place down? It'll be fine.
6:05. Leave the house.
Scene: My work, 6:20am. Arrive to work and see Joe's (my boss) truck in the parking lot. Hmm. Weird. Maybe he got a ride home. So, as I go in the back door (arms completely full of the groceries I brought to cook an amazing breakfast for my coworker and myself), I notice all the lights are on. And there's my boss: sitting at the flash point tester. Running a test!? WTF?

I do a mental check. Friday? Yes. Holiday? Yes. Late? Yes. Looking sheepish? Yes. Totally confused? Yes.

Boss: "What are you doing here?"
Me: "What are YOU doing here?"
Boss: "They needed something and I didn't want to call anyone in. And, Courtney never showed up for work at 6am."
Me: "Uhh. I'm working for Courtney."
Boss: "Why are you working for Courtney?" (I didn't have the heart to tell him she was on a job interview, so I pulled the whole "we swapped days" thing.) "I don't want you working everyone's holidays."
Me: "But, we get scheduled for holidays anyway. And we're running short staffed already today since you never scheduled someone in to cover Roland (who's out on knee surgery.)"
Boss: "Oh. I'm still asleep."
Me: "Yeah. Tell me about it. Me too."
Boss: "Go ahead and order lunch on the company since you're running short staffed. Have a good day. I'm going home."

See? See how I totally turned that around and convinced him he was actually to blame for all the problems of that day? Not only that, but he had to ask me to check and make sure he was running the test right! In my mind I kinda won. But, really. Do you ever win when you walk in late and find your boss doing your job? Not really. I apologized profusely for being late, blamed it on the baby (he's so cute - how could you not buy that one?), promised it would never happen again and still feel bad about it today.

Great start to the weekend, huh?

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Cat-trastophy. Seriously.

...because I couldn't make this shit up:

This morning while backing out of the garage I realized I had left my wedding ring sitting on the kitchen counter. (I made rice crispy treats and we all know how gooey that gets, so I slipped it off and forgot to put it back on.) So, feeling naked without it, I stopped the car, hit the garage "close" button and made a dash for the house to grab it. As I opened the car door I heard the garage door seat a little loud, like it had smashed the ground - a noise it doesn't usually make. And that was when I heard the hissing/screeching/scrambling/clawing/oh-shit-this-isn't-right thing start. I immediately scan the bottom of the garage door because, god forbid, it sounded like a cat was pinned under there. Hmm. No cat. Weird.

And then I see it. Theo, the oldest (and not the most visually adept) of my two cats - hanging from the upper portion of the garage door - scrambling for his life, hissing, howling and all around pissed off. How do you get trapped in the top of the door?? His body was dangling outside the garage door while his head was pinned inside the garage. And the door was completely closed. On his head. Because the door itself is quite slick, he was unable to gain any kind of traction and was just kind of swinging there....scrambling around. With no head. Because it was still inside the garage. I shit you not. I ran over and hit the "open" button on the outside control - and nothing happened. It had sensed a jam and wouldn't open. Great. Just frickin' great.

So, I run to the inside of the garage to hit the emergency release. By this time all hell has broken loose. The cat is (obviously) still screaming, the dog is barking like mad and Mike (the donkey) starts his old hee-haw routine. It was an absolute shit show. I popped the release and managed to get a little slack so his neck wasn't pinched so hard, but he still couldn't get any traction to get himself out. I wheeled the door all the way up and he came rocketing out over the top of the door. Kitty-rocket style. Shaken, but alive! With a head!

He came over for some pets and seemed OK. I grabbed my ring and headed out. And I think if I hadn't gotten out of the car to go get my ring I wouldn't have heard him and he could have been swinging there by his neck all day until Todd got home.

How we say, "Just another day on the farm?"